Firefox developers Mozilla, are announcing the release of Firefox 40 today. Despite Mozilla’s open objections to Windows 10 as well as its shrinking presence in browser market share, Firefox 40 comes with support for Windows 10, Mac, Linux, and Android. According to Mozilla, “half a billion people around the world” use the browser. With FireFox 40, users will benefit from added protection against unwanted software downloads, interface changes as well as new gesture controls for navigation on Android devices.
As for PCs and Windows 10 support, earlier versions of Firefox worked on Windows 10, however, Mozilla is officially announcing support for Windows 10. Aside from the semantic wordplay from Mozilla, Firefox 40 does come to Windows 10 with a few subtle differences. While Mozilla claims users will notice, “bigger, bolder design elements,” many of the changes seem rather subdued in Firefox 40 for Windows 10. New tab and tab close buttons have been visually updated and enlarged; other icons have darkened.
In addition to visual tweaks, Firefox 40 also improves on back-end security and performance issues. With Firefox 40, Mozilla will now require all Firefox add-ons be certified, regardless of where they are hosted. Users will also be warned about unsigned add-ons starting with Firefox 40. Mozilla hasn’t stopped there, with Firefox 41 Mozilla has worked with developers to meet better security concerns by disabling extensions that have not met certifications and enabling preferences for disabling signature enforcement. According to Mozilla, Firefox’s 42 beta and release versions will not allow unsigned extensions to be installed and users there is no way to override this.
Other Firefox 40 features include:
- New: User can receive suggested tiles in the new tab page based on categories Firefox matches to browsing history (en-US only).
- New: Hello allows adding a link to conversations to provide context on what the conversation will be about.
- New: New style for add-on manager based on the in-content preferences style.
- New: Improved scrolling, graphics, and video playback performance with off main thread compositing (GNU/Linux only).
- New: Graphic blocklist mechanism improved: Firefox version ranges can be specified, limiting the number of devices blocked.
- Changed: Add-on extensions that are not signed by Mozilla will display a warning.
- Changed: NPAPI Plug-in performance improved via asynchronous initialization.
- Changed: Smoother animation and scrolling with hardware vsync (Windows only).
- Changed: JPEG images use less memory when scaled and can be painted faster.
- Changed: Sub-resources can no longer request HTTP authentication, thus protecting users from inadvertently disclosing login data.
- HTML5: IndexedDB transactions are now non-durable by default.
- HTML5: Implemented AudioBufferSourceNode.detune to modulate playback rate in cents, a logarithmic unit of measure used for musical intervals.
- Developer: Improved Performance tools in the developer tools: Waterfall view, Call Tree view, and a Flame Chart view.
- Developer: New rules view tooltip in the Inspector to tweak CSS Filter values.
- Developer: Console API messages from SharedWorker and ServiceWorker are now displayed in the web console.
- Developer: New page ruler highlighting tool that displays lightweight horizontal and vertical rules on a page.
- Developer: Inspector now searches across all content frames in a page.
- Fixed: Kannada text does not display properly in built-in PDF viewer.
- Fixed: Various security fixes.
Firefox 40 is available for download at Firefox.com today.Further reading: Firefox, Microsoft, Windows